Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dunbar's Number

I was reading about Dunbar's Number today which, briefly, is a number theorized by anthropologist Robin Dunbar which is the maximum number of people with which people can maintain a social relationship.  The theory is that the number of people that you can know on more than a superficial level is limited by the size of your neocortex, and that while the exact number is debated, the generally accepted value is 150.  That being said, I feel I've hit my quota and as a result will not be extending or accepting offers of friendship unless one of the following criteria is met:
  1. There is a loss of a current friend or acquaintance, thereby making room for a replacement.
  2. A birth or marriage involving someone who I’m not willing to sever a relationship with occurs, forcing me to accept a new individual.
  3. I meet a woman who is attractive enough that I would be foolish not to befriend her.
  4. Someone is extraordinary in some way, and a social relationship would add to my enjoyment of life.
Now should one of these conditions be met, I will need to re-evaluate my acquaintance structure to determine who should be released in order to make room for the newer and better talent.  Objective metrics have not yet been developed for this friendship evaluation, and based on my laziness, will not be developed until necessity forces me to. 

Ultimately, I feel that I will improve my quality of life and the quality of my social relationships by actively limiting the number of people I associate with and stratifying my friendship hierarchy.  And as always, bribes will effect the seeding of said friends.  As a point of reference, I would like to note that acceptable bribes include but are not limited to: bacon, tickets to sporting events, cash or liquid assets, electronics, vacation packages, etc. 

In conclusion, I didn't really plan this post out well and can't come up with a solid conclusion to wrap it all up, so I'm just going to stop and see how it turns out.
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